Hi, all, Jennifer here!
I’ve had a revelation this summer. (Of sorts)
And here it is: Reading makes me a better writer.
Wow, hardly earth-shattering, right? I know. We’ve all heard this before. But not until a few months ago have I really seen it affect my writing. But what I also realized was that this summer I’ve read more books outside my own genre. I’ve read young adult, women’s fiction, and A LOT of non fiction.
I saw my writing change when I had to do major edits recently. Without much effort at all, I was able to add 8,000 words to my manuscript. And best of all, my editor loved what I wrote.
With one more month left to summer, I plan to take advantage of this time and add even more books to my reading list. It’s actually been kind of fun finding books I wouldn’t normally read.
A few of my favorites have been:
NIGHT by Elie Wiesel The author reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man’s capacity for inhumanity to man. Night offers much more than a litany of the daily terrors, everyday perversions, and rampant sadism at Auschwitz and Buchenwald; it also eloquently addresses many of the philosophical as well as personal questions implicit in any serious consideration of what the Holocaust was, what it meant, and what its legacy is and will be.
ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.
What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.
Do you have a favorite book you’ve read this summer?
Also, my romantic comedy WEDDING DATE FOR HIRE is on sale right now for 99 cents for one more week.
Grab me while you can!
Jennifer Shirk is a USA Today bestselling sweet romance author for Montlake and Entangled Publishing who also happens to be a mom, pharmacist, Red Sox fan, P90x grad, and overall nice person. Check out her latest sweet romance: CATCH HIM IF YOU CAN
It’s an election year. Sigh. I love our country, but election years are exhausting…especially one as crazy as this one. While I passionately believe in being an informed citizen, the constant barrage of election coverage, party conflict, and frightening news stories can make anyone feel overwhelmed.
So let’s take a stand by taking care of ourselves. How?
- Realize it’s okay to turn it all off. Really. You don’t have to watch the nightly news or follow CNN.com all the time. If something big happens, trust me, you’ll hear about it.
- Treat everyone with kindness and respect…and ignore the crazy ones. Even if that guy you knew in high school is saying something completely ridiculous about one of the candidates on Facebook, resist commenting and falling into a big debate. Unless you really love debating politics, it will leave you drained. I’m all for standing up for what you believe in, but choose your battles carefully.
- Speaking of Facebook – Unfollow is your friend. If you cringe every time you read a certain person’s post, unfollow them. They’ll never know. You’ll still be on their friend list but their craziness won’t show up in your newsfeed. You’re welcome.
- Read a good book. This is one of the things I love about being a writer. Life is hard. Being able to take a break and dive into another world helps us deal with tough realities, and stories can provide us with fresh perspectives.
So just know, no matter what your political beliefs, election season will be over soon, and no matter the outcome, there will always be good books out there to get us through.
Cowgirl in the Kitchen
Just as she’s about to make her dream come true, disaster strikes. The only way she can get back in the saddle is to strike a bargain—with a man her family despises.
Jentry Lawson’s dream of becoming a world-class barrel racer is about to happen—until she and her horse are injured in a terrible accident. Forced to move back home to Texas to recuperate, her Dallas-based brother makes her an offer she can’t refuse. He needs someone he can trust to oversee the renovation and grand opening of his new restaurant. If she’ll take that on, he’ll finance her return to the arena. It doesn’t take Jentry long to discover she bit off more than she can chew. Swallowing her pride, she asks for help from Gavin Easton—a man her brother despises. But he’s the one person who can make the restaurant succeed.
People in Glover never thought Gavin Easton would amount to anything. Ever since his own restaurant in town burned down, he’s taken odd jobs to provide for his niece, whom he is raising alone. When beautiful and stubborn Jentry offers him the perfect job, his first reaction is to turn her down flat. No way he’s going to do anything to help her brother! But there’s more at stake than his pride. Can he trust his future to the woman whose brother tried to ruin his reputation—and his life?
Besides, how can he manage a restaurant, when he can’t manage his heart?
Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.